Nothing’s first product was a pair of wireless earbuds called the Ear (1) that managed to deliver on an impossible level of hype with excellent performance and solid features for $99. With the company’s equally hyped smartphone now out in the wild, Nothing is returning to earbuds once again with a follow-up called the Ear (stick) that, like Apple’s AirPods, are designed for those who prioritize comfort over blocking out the noise of the world.
As with any wireless earbud that comes with active noise cancellation, the original Ear (1) earbuds relied on swappable silicone tips designed to sit snugly in the ear canal to create a tight and soundproof seal. It’s an effective approach for those wanting silence, but often an uncomfortable one, particularly when the buds are worn for a long time. So the new Ear (stick) use a half in-ear design similar to the AirPods that rests in the folds of the ear while directing sound towards the ear canal. As a result, the new earbuds don’t offer active noise cancellation.
With a new 12.6-millimeter custom driver—larger than the 11-millimeter drivers in the Ear (1)—the new Ear (stick) will just try to drown out unwanted sounds with whatever you’re listening to. The half in-ear design does mean some sounds will inevitably escape, but Nothing promises to work around that limitation with a feature called Bass Lock Technology that uses the three mics on each earbud to measure the bass frequencies that leak out, and then compensate for the loss through automatic equalizer adjustments.
Most wireless earbud makers try to outdo each other with smaller and smaller charging cases that disappear into a pocket, but to date that hasn’t been Nothing’s approach. The original Ear (1) had a charging case with a dimple in the lid allowing it to be used as a make shift fidget spinner, but the charging case for the Ear (stick) looks more like a cylindrical stick of lipstick requiring the bottom to be twisted to access the buds inside.
For those who find themselves mindlessly flicking the lid of a charging case open and closed, twisting the Ear (stick)‘s case may serve as another activity to help burn off nervous energy. The case offers functional benefits too, however, particularly for those who are prone to accidentally dropping their devices. Unlike earbuds in a charging case with a hinged lid that can pop open on its own when dropped, sending the buds flying, the Ear (stick)‘s case keeps them securely protected at all times.
Nothing promises improved wireless connectivity with the Ear (stick) courtesy of a redesigned antenna in the stems that sits farther from the user’s face to help minimize blocked signals. The stems on the Ear (stick) also trade the touch sensitive strip that facilitated swipe gestures on the Ear (1) with press or squeeze controls instead that are supposed to be a more reliable way to control playback, take calls, or make volume adjustments.
Battery life is claimed to be up to seven hours with the earbuds alone, while the charging case provides an additional 22 hours of usage when you’re away from a power source. Fast charging is also available, with a 10 minute dock in the case promising an extra two hours of listening time. That’s slightly less than the Ear (1)‘s battery life, even with the added drain of ANC.
It probably comes as no surprise that the most seamless experience with the Ear (stick) comes with pairing the wireless earbuds to the Phone (1), with often used controls made easily available in the phone’s Quick Settings while the earbuds are paired. But all the same functionality will be made available through the new Nothing X app which will be available for iOS and Android devices soon.
Last week, Carl Pei announced on Twitter that Nothing was raising the price of the Ear (1) wireless earbuds to $149 and cited “an increase in costs” as the main reason. What probably played a bigger part in that price bump, which goes into effect today, is that the new Ear (stick) will now be Nothing’s entry-level wireless earbuds, taking over that $99 price point. If both options were priced the same, the version with ANC would be the obvious choice.
You’ll have to wait until November 4 to actually buy the new Nothing Ear (stick), which go on sale starting at 5:30am EST in 40 different countries.
The iQOO 11 launch has been rescheduled for December 8
Out of respect for Jiang Zemin, the former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese companies postponed festive events and product launches to give people time to grieve. This includes the iQOO 11 and iQOO Neo7 SE, which were originally planned for a December 2 reveal (i.e. today).
The iQOO 11 launch has been rescheduled for December 8 as you can see from this image by iQOO Indonesia’s Instagram account. There isn’t a separate post for the Neo, but it should arrive at the same time.
The iQOO 11 launch has been rescheduled for December 8
If you check out the Instagram post, you will see a reply from Qualcomm – that is no coincidence, the iQOO 11 will be one of the first phones with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The iQOO Neo7 SE has been confirmed to use a Dimensity 8200 instead.
There is also a short teaser video that also points to December 8:
It’s not just Indonesia, of course, the reveal even in China was also pushed back to the 8th. Both the iQOO 11 and Neo7 SE are already listed on the vivo online store in China, but the links lead to teaser pages.
‘Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’ breeding mechanics, explained
Pokémon breeding has been a core part of the franchise since Gold and Silver. Scarlet and Violet shake up the matchmaking formula quite a bit, doing away with the daycare altogether. Instead, you’ll need to make a nice picnic for you and your team to hang out. But the mechanic isn’t as straightforward as just laying down a blanket and opening a nice bottle of wine.
Setting the mood
In order to start breeding, you’ll need two compatible Pokémon in your party and to set up a picnic. In order to breed, Pokémon need to be in the same egg group and be the opposite gender.
There are 16 egg groups in total, but you can usually guess which belongs where since it’s dependent on typing and looks. Dragons, fish, and birds all snuggle with their own kind.
You can also find a Ditto, which can breed and reproduce with any other pocket monster. Using the purple blob, you can also breed genderless Pokémon, like Magnemite and Bronzor. Ditto can be found out in the left-most area of the map, pretending to be other Pokémon. Though they may look like other creatures, pressing ZL on the controller while targeting them will show that they are a Ditto.
Once you have two that can breed, just open a picnic on the menu and wait. There’s no clear set amount of time, but an egg will appear in the basket near the table. You can create multiple eggs in one instance, just make sure to clear the basket after each new one spawns.
You can increase the spawn rate of eggs by eating a sandwich. By making a meal with a sweet ingredient, you’ll be able to get an Egg Power bonus between levels one and three.
Hatch those eggs
Once you have the number of eggs you want to hatch, it’s time to put those legs to work. In order to hatch them, you’ll need to travel a set amount of distance, either by walking or by traveling on your mount. Some Pokémon take longer to hatch than others, so just keep on going, and eventually, they will hatch. You’ll also need at least one regular Pokémon for your party.
Bringing along a Pokémon with a special ability can help eggs hatch faster. Having the Magma Armor, Flame Body, or Steam Engine ability also will cut the time needed to hatch eggs. Keep in mind that these abilities don’t stack. There are eight Pokémon that can have these abilities. They include:
Pokémon caught in the wild are limited in their abilities and hidden stats. But hatched monsters can learn special abilities, have stronger stats, or even be shiny. A hatched Pokémon can learn special egg moves that in other generations couldn’t be taught to their non-hatched brethren. But in Scarlet and Violet, you can equip a Mirror Herb to give an egg move to another Pokémon.
Just equip the Mirror Herb on a Pokémon with an open attack slot and open a picnic. It should then learn the move unless it normally couldn’t (you can’t teach Camerupt Surf).
You can also pass along other stats to baby Pokémon. By giving a parent an Everstone, the baby will retain its nature, while a Destiny Knot will give its IVs.
How to pre-download Overwatch 2 Season 2
Players can now pre-download Overwatch 2 Season 2 content on the PC platform right now to dive into Season 2 when it releases later this week. Pre-downloads can be started on PC via Battle.net. ahead of its launch on December 6.
Season 2 of Overwatch 2 arrives early next week, bringing with it new hero balance changes and a new theme. This season, the game is drawing inspiration from Greek mythology with a new time-limited mode, Battle For Olympus, which will grant the heroes godlike powers early next year.
All details about pre-downloading Overwatch 2 Season 2
A new background download is available on Battle.net and likely contains the Overwatch 2 Season 2 content. The update size is 4.8 GB and the version number is 188.8.131.52.107804. Players can head over to the Battle.net client on PC and update their game files so that Season 2 content will be made available as soon as it’s launched.
Overwatch 2 Season 2 content is now available for pre-download on Battle.net. Here are the steps to pre-download the game file:
- If players have automatic updates enabled on Battle.net, the game’s update should begin automatically.
- To start the download manually, click on the gear icon next to ‘Play’ on the Battle.net Overwatch section.
- Select ‘Check for Updates’
- The update will appear and players can then opt to pre-download the content by hitting the ‘Update’ button.
The community now has a better idea of which heroes will be rebalanced in Season 2. As per Blizzard Entertainment, the new Season will bring a new Hero, a new map, a new Battle Pass, and more to the game. The community cannot wait for its launch on December 6.
With the start of Season 2, maps will rotate from the game’s immense map pool. This will bring back some old favorites like Rialto, Oasis, and Nepal. In the trailer for the new season, one can see some of what’s in store for Overwatch 2 Season 2.
Doomfist is near the top of the developer’s rebalance list as Blizzard is not happy with his frontline performance. Sojourn is a newcomer who has been dominating in competitive mode. Her railgun will be nerfed to encourage players to get closer in for combat.
Ana, Bastion, Symmetra, Kiriko, Mercy, and Junker Queen will also be tweaked as per a Blizzard blog post. These changes come just a few weeks after the last round of Hero balance changes.
The game will receive a time-limited Battle For Olympus mode from January 5 to January 19. Plenty of Olympian-themed skins, including the Mythic Zeus Junker Queen and Poseidon Ramattra, are also on their way to Season 2’s Premium Battle Pass.
The Winter Wonderland event will also take place in-game between December 13 and January 4. Players who missed out on Season 1’s hero, Kiriko, due to the Battle Pass grind will have another chance thanks to new challenges that have been introduced during the new season.
Blizzard is looking to make some incremental changes for the new season as the Overwatch community wasn’t happy with how the developers handled the bug-ridden first season.
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